Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing These 10 Things Right Away

Requiring a plumber in Roanoke can be necessary if you have a drippy or ruptured pipe. But a lot of the time, you can stop clogging your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to take care of.

Here are some of the most common issues our Experts receive calls about at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning and how you can prevent them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Despite the fact they might be known as “flushable wipes,” the ideal spot for them is the trash. The only thing that should be flushed (except for the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you rely on a septic system.

A Canadian study that tested 101 such wipes learned they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can clog your sewer line and make your toilet back up.

They can also wreak havoc on city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can combine with other yucky things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, such as cooking fat and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. Along with being unhygienic and just plain yucky, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are pricey to get rid of. If you’re on a city sewer system, those are costs that could get passed on to you down the road.

Whichever type of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should go in the trash once you’re finished.

2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Garbage

In addition to flushable wipes, there are several other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These cover:

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Cat litter

Along with wipes, these things can block your sewer line and back up your toilet, sticking you with a pricey (and gross) mess.

3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Using drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, but they can do more damage than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, like bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets dissolve, they can clog the toilet and stop it from flushing.

4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your immediate reaction may be to get a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should know about these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re poisonous. Drain cleaners are a toxic combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce powerful fumes that can cause respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can eat away at your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your pipes: corrosion, fractures and even failure. 
  3. They’re not good for the environment. As you can determine, these formulas aren’t very good for the environment. 
  4. They might not even unplug your drain. Regardless of all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s since they often force the clog deeper into your plumbing until it creates a huge problem.

If you do require a drain cleaner, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners use bacteria and enzymes to get rid of clogs and foul odors. While they could take more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re healthier for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re experiencing a tough clog that just won’t dissolve, contacting a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is your best option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s faster to have an Expert complete the job. That way, you’ll also prevent causing damage to your pipes and many other troublesome issues such as leaks, damaged seals and horrible odors.

After your drain is flowing freely, keep it that way by having a screen to keep hair or food scraps from blocking it again.

5. Dumping Grease Down Your Sink

It can seem like it’s not a problem to pour a small amount of grease down your sink. But as time passes, that grease can grow and block your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and create a yucky fatberg like we mentioned earlier.

To prevent plumbing issues, drain the oil into a container. After it cools, you can toss it in the trash.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for breaking up tiny food scraps. But it can’t eliminate everything. To stop issues or clogs, we advise not putting these foods down your garbage disposal:

  • Coffee grounds 
  • Pasta, oats, rice and bread 
  • Bones, nuts, pits and seeds 
  • Eggshells 
  • Onions and potato peels 
  • Fibrous fruits and vegetables 
  • Grease

If your garbage disposal has a bad smell, you can clean it with citrus peels or a blend of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires annual tune-ups. This service can help us find little issues before they cause expensive problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we check for involve:

  • Adequate water pressure 
  • Drippy or clogged pipes 
  • Properly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do spot a problem, like a dripping sink or pipe, it’s critical to get it fixed immediately before it gets bigger or causes damage.

8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, it’s important to call an Expert at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for leak repair before it gets worse or results in damage.

Repairing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best completed by professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair yourself or get a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and having a costlier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Maintain Your Water Heater on Your Own

When it comes to your water heater, service and tune-ups are best left to the professionals. This includes draining it or examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t done properly, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your home.

Professional water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is working like it should. It also offers you a heads-up when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, since they typically only work for about 10 years.

10. Not Being Aware of Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

If your house has a big water leak, it’s important to be aware of where the main water valve is and how to switch it off. This valve is typically situated in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to switch off the main water valve in your home:
  • If it has a wheel: move it clockwise until you can’t anymore. 
  • If it has a lever: move it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re are unsure about where the valve is located, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you find it.

It’s also a wise idea to install a water leak protection system that will alert you and shut off the water if there’s an issue. You can even use a smart system to watch water use and alert you through your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are ready to assist you. And we’ll back our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll be sure that your repairs were finished correctly. Reach us at 540-302-8645 to request your appointment right away!

*Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.
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